Has anyone checked to see if there are any missing towels or dishes from the Governor’s Mansion? Given the latest revelation about the last minute efforts of former Governor Pat McCrory to bestow $166,000 in publicly-funded parting gifts on some of his cronies during his final hours in office, it seems as if it might be worth checking. This is from a story in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by reporter Craig Jarvis:
“On his way out of office, Gov. Pat McCrory ordered accrued vacation and bonus leave payouts to his 10 Cabinet secretaries — money they would not otherwise have been entitled to receive.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has tentatively halted the payments, which could have amounted to as much at $166,000.
The top executives were exempt from state personnel regulations, and so were not eligible to receive the payouts under typical circumstances.
McCrory on Dec. 29 wrote to the state controller and the interim director of the Office of State Human Resources telling them to send the payouts “as if they were regular state employees,” retroactive to their first day of employment in the exempt position.
‘These irregular payments have been brought to the attention of the administration and halted pending further review,’ Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said in an emailed response when asked about the letter on Thursday.
The Cooper administration says the payments authorized by McCrory could have totaled as much as $166,000.”
Of course, McCrory’s embarrassing and tone deaf actions are not terribly surprising. One of his first acts as Governor in 2013 was to bestow large pay raises on several of high-level appointees, even as he soon thereafter proposed and approved budgets that left rank and file state employees woefully underpaid. And, of course, just days before his latest act, McCrory took the craven step of approving legislation that sought to strip powers from the office he occupied — all to abet the legislature’s newly launched war on his successor.
All in all, this latest revelation should be seen as a fitting conclusion to four desultory years in office for a small and perpetually over-matched politician who never really fully grasped the office he held — much less mastered it. Whether or not his buddies get their cashola, this story should serve as one last powerful reminder of how lucky North Carolina is to have the McCrory era in the rear view mirror.